Friday, April 07, 2023

Cleveland Baseball Opening Day Weather History

I checked the temperature for every "opening day" since 1871 when the professional baseball team was called the Cleveland Forest Citys.  Listed here are the warmest and coldest at each major ballpark.

Cleveland professional baseball started in 1869 with the first professional game played near the present day E. 38th street in between Scoville and Central Avenues in 1871 at a park called the National Association Grounds which is near the current Ensign Avenue and. E 55th. The team was named the Cleveland Forest Citys after the Forest City Coffee Company. They lost 25-6 to the first professional baseball team the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Location of the Cleveland Forest Citys Park in 1871

Since that year, professional baseball in Cleveland faded in and out of existence as it did in other cities back then. In 1871 and 1872, a Cleveland team also names the Forest Citys was formed but disbanded. Then from 1879 to 1884, the Cleveland Blues played their games at the Kennard Street Park. During that stretch, they won 4 of the 6 opening days. In 1885 and 1886, no professional baseball was played in Cleveland. But in 1887, Cleveland baseball returned again. Named the Spiders, they won 10 of the next 13 opening days through the 1899 season. Cleveland baseball was played at many locations between 1871 and the present. 

Locations of Cleveland baseball parks since 1871

In 1900, no Cleveland baseball existed because of the ineptitude of the 1899 Cleveland team which had a record of 20-132, still the worst record of any baseball franchise in baseball history. The team subsequently folded.

Starting in 1901, the new American Leagued was formed and Cleveland baseball was born again. Since then, Cleveland baseball has been played in 3 stadiums (League Park, Cleveland Stadium and now Progressive Field)

More than 50% of opening days featured temperatures above 60 degrees. Most of these occurred in the early 20th century when the season was shorter and started later (late April/early May).

Picture from Opening Day in 2007.  Game was postponed and moved to Milwaukee due to snow.